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CA has tapped a top software executive from one of its rivals - IBM - as its next CEO and is hoping the outsider can pull the company out of its most turbulent period to date.

CA today named 26-year IBM veteran John Swainson as its new chief. Swainson started work at the software maker this week but won't officially become CEO until the first or second quarter of next year. He will be reporting to interim CEO Kenneth Cron and learning CA's business over the next few months. Swainson will also take on the role of President and has been elected to CA's board. Cron will continue to serve as CA's director.

“John turned a relatively unknown software solution, middleware, into a $1 billion business," said CA Chairman Lewis Ranieri. "He possesses a unique set of skills, including development, sales and marketing that combined make him a tremendous manager and the right person to lead CA as it continues to move forward."

Swainson replaces former CA CEO Sanjay Kumar who left the company in the wake of a massive accounting scandal that will see CA pay back $225m to shareholders. The former Big Blue exec will be the first outsider to hold the CEO post at CA - not including interim chief Cron.

Swainson started his career with IBM in Canada and later moved to the US. He worked extensively on IBM's WebSphere middleware line and most recently oversaw IBM's worldwide software sales. He will have the difficult task of restoring luster to a brand tarnished by the accounting scandal, federal probes and now constant government oversight. ®

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